Atmanirbhar Bharat will increase exports for the company, says Concor

With a 75% share of the country’s rail container transportation business, Concor is sure to be a major beneficiary of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission. Spoke to V Kalyana Rama, CMD of Concor to understand how Concor plans to use their expansive network to capitalise on this initiative and get an update on their much-awaited divestment. Rama was very optimistic about the road ahead on the export front.

“Atmanirbhar Bharat will increase exports for the company. We are seeing export competitiveness increase in India which will only grow faster.” The management remained tight-lipped on the progress of divestment. The company has been on the receiving end of licence fee decisions- the railways has demanded a land licence fee of ₹776.9 crore for just two terminals in Delhi and the total land licence fee for all terminals put together can be as much as ₹1,000 crore per annum. “The railway land after surrendering 17 locations are very strategic. Discussions are underway for the land licence fee and DIPAM will share input on licence fee decisions over time.”

The onset of a shift in Rail market share being higher due to greater COVID-19 led disruptions in road transport. Rama said, “We are seeing a shift from road to the rail during the COVID pandemic. We are in discussion with Indian Railways for incentive schemes to attract more traction to Railways. Problems exist in the road sector and over time we will look to consolidate and capitalise on positive impact in a negative time.”

Looking forward, a key incentive will be the Dedicated Freight Corridor which will likely be operational by the end of December or March 2021 according to Rama. “The Dedicated Freight Corridor will assure transit time of container time to and from ports.”

The company has been on the receiving end of licence fee decisions- the railways has demanded a land licence fee of ₹776.9 crore for just two terminals in Delhi and the total land licence fee for all terminals put together can be as much as ₹1,000 crore per annum. “The land licence fee was around `450 cr as per company’s calculations for this fiscal year.”

The company which has its beginnings in container logistics working in container handling, movement and warehousing is now adding logistics. “Our share in logistics is currently 5%, we aim to bring it to 15% of volumes in 5 years. The company will try to achieve 80% last year’s turnover of `6500 cr which is around `5200 cr but the increase in land licence fee may hit profits. Our profit last year was `1000 cr and this year will be around `400-450 cr,”said Rama.

As the Covid-19 pandemic impacted economic activities at global as well as domestic level- the company said they are retaining the earlier guidance of 20% decline in handling volumes for FY21. Rama said, “We are trying to expand our network and improve service quality. We are working more towards digitisation and working on AI systems for better functioning.”